Smooth seas greeted us this morning as we continue westward across the Gulf of Aden on our way to the Red Sea. We are looking forward to the string of 4 consecutive sea days before we arrive in Jordan. After Jordan we transit the Suez Canal entering the cooler Mediterranean Sea where we will enjoy 9 ports in 12 days.
Harmonica Virtuoso Bernie Fields was the guest on Good Morning Amsterdam. Bernie started his musical career playing the clarinet before switching to the Harmonica when he was a teenager. Gene remarked that Bernie is the only Harmonica player is the entire Carnival Corporation database of musicians. He demonstrated some of the different techniques involved in playing the Harmonica and explained that he has maintained a steady string of bookings throughout the 40 years he has been playing professionally.
Barbara discussed our upcoming visit to Jordan in the Queens Lounge at 10 am. She normally doesn’t recommend visiting specific spots, but she is making an exception for Petra which has been classified as one the New 7 Wonders of the World. She did caution people to bring local currency or USD to Petra since they don’t accept credit cards. Barbara discussed how Jordan is one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East and that some women may be subjected to “Hey Baby” Cat Calls from the local men, but everyone chuckled when she added that she doesn’t get those type of comments any longer….
Right after Barbara’s port lecture Timothy Runyan presented his lectures on Pirates. He debunked some popular myths particularly the one regarding pirates burying treasure explaining that pirates didn’t really think too much about the long term or saving for retirement.
Judy and I attended our traditional afternoon events, Crafts and Texas Hold’em. I had a good day and finished second in Texas Hold’em.
The Book Club announced that the next book will be “The Passion of Artemisia” by Susan Vreeland.
We were invited to Canaletto to help celebrate the birthday of one of our overland traveling companions on our India trip. We haven’t been to Canaletto’s all cruise so we were looking forward to the opportunity to give it a try. Canaletto’s is the specialty Italian Restaurant, located on deck 8, that is a part of the Lido dining area during the day. During the evening this area becomes Canaletto’s and offers a special menu with a $10 surcharge.
Our hosts invited a total of 16 guests for our 6:30 dinner spreading us across several tables. The menu is divided into “Small Plates” consisting of Soups, Salads and Appetizers and Large Plates where they offer various pastas, sea bass and veal. Fortunately we were sharing our table with some Canaletto regulars and they were helpful giving us some idea of the portion sizes and what dishes they enjoyed.
Judy ordered the Canaletto Salad and the Sea Bass, while I ordered the Zuppa di Pesce (Fish soup) and the Rigatoni with sausage. Our tablemates ordered the Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and the Eggplant Caponata which were large enough to share so we were able to get a taste of everything.
Service was exceptional as normal, and the food was incredible and well beyond our already high expectations. The Zuppa di Pesce was piping hot, with a perfectly seasoned tomato broth filled with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and chunks of cod. This was easily the best soup of the cruise and quite frankly some of the best soup I have ever enjoyed anywhere.
The Rigatoni with sausage, presented in a medium sized bowl, looked fantastic and tasted even better. Judy’s Sea Bass was served with fingerling potatoes, shaved fennel and an orange-olive salad. The portion sizes were perfect to either have one entire dish yourself or to share two dishes with two people. I sampled the sea bass which was grilled and perfectly seasoned and absolutely delightful.
Since we were celebrating a birthday, we all shared a delicious chocolate cake complete with a dollop of vanilla ice cream dished up tableside. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the waiters was quite the vocalist and sang a beautiful acapella version of Happy Birthday. Simply Amazing.
My advice to future travelers – don’t wait to enjoy Canaletto’s as it is a fantastic restaurant and if you enjoy it as much as we did, going earlier in the cruise will give you more time to visit again and again.
Tonight’s show, Nations, was presented by the HAL singers and dancers. We were off the ship on overland trips for their first two shows and were eager to see their 3rd show. The singers were exceptional and the dancers were outstanding, with a full complement of 3 men and 3 women dancers. The show featured more pure dancing numbers than is usually the case as there is typically a bias towards the singers being on stage more of the time.
Another welcome sea day tomorrow as we are expected to transit the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and enter the Red Sea.This entry was posted in Uncategorized